Most of my music there was written between 1957 and 1974, and includes orchestral music, band music, chamber music, as well as some piano and vocal music, and an opera. In some instances, both the score and parts are there, and where the parts may be missing, I can probably provide them. Some of the music was intended for performers at the student level, and some of it is quite difficult.
Some of my compositions:
"This Evening" - an opera in one act for soprano, alto, tenor, small female chorus, and small chamber orchestra. Duration: 40 minutes. It has received performances at Bennington College in Vermont, and at the Rockland Lyric Theatre in Piermont, New York. Libretto by Omar Shapli.>Click here for an excerpt.
"Foreign Affairs" - a processional for orchestra, composed in 1957, conducted by Muir Matheson, and "Panorama" for orchestra,composed in 1958, conducted by Robert Fleming. These pieces were recorded as stock music for the National Film Board of Canada. "Foreign Affairs", in particular, has been used in a number of films.
"Polka Dots" - a humourous piece, was originally scored for orchestra, and has since been rescored by myself for orchestra, as well as for concert band, and trio (flute, violin and piano). It was also rescored by a group called "La Piémontoise" for quartet (flute, oboe, bassoon, and harpsichord), who used this piece a number of times in their concerts. This is the version for Concert Band, as performed by the RCA Band of Halifax, conducted by Capt. J. Dowell.See below for a Midi file realization of this piece.
"Variations on a Rollicking Tune", an easy piece for band, originally performed at the Mid-West Band Clinic in Chicago in the mid 1970's. It was originally published by E.C.Kerby, Music Publishers, but is now handled by Counterpoint Musical Services. Click here, to hear a performance by the Lakeshore Concert Band of Quebec.
"Concerto for Springtime" for vocalist and jazz orchestra, with text based on medieval Latin lyrics. This is a Karaoke style video, with the lyrics being displayed on the screen in time with the voice part played by a solo cello.
Piano Files.These were created using Midi Piano Player, Midi Piano File Creator and a Yamaha Clavinova CLP 50. If you are connected to a synthesizer or soundboard, they will default to Patch 1 (Acoustic Grand Piano), but on my setup, the best sound is achieved by driving the electronic piano. Although the piano sound on the CLP 50 is clearly superior to any soundfont I have tried, there is a problem: when driving the piano with a MIDI file: the notes do not sustain without the almost continuous use of pedal.
(Note: If your electronic piano does not sustain MIDI file data without the aid of sustaining pedal (controller 64), it would be better to play the following files using an internal or external synthesizer.)
Synthesizer files.These were created using Midi Synthi Player or Midi File Creator, and a Creative Labs' Soundblaster 32 or SBLive! soundboard. They use mainly up to 32 parts polyphony (sometimes up to 64), and 16 MIDI channels, and require a decent wavetable soundboard or synthesizer, and are all in General Midi (GM) format. Most of these files were developed using the standard 4 Meg soundfont that comes with SBLive!. Using other sound sources can affect the balance, dynamics, as well as the various instrumental sounds.
One of the courses I taught Music Specialists at the Nova Scotia Teachers College was Music Theory (which included Harmony, Arranging etc.). I found that although there was a tremendous amount of talent among my students, they were frequently deficient in music theory. What I tried to do was devise a course that provided the background they needed, but was practical, and not too academic. It was also designed to utilize the musical resources available - voices, recorders, autoharp, wind instruments etc. Eventually, the course evolved into a book The Mechanics of Music. I submitted it to a few publishers, and one large publisher was about to undertake its publication, but then Head Office decided it could not undertake another Music Theory project at that time. However, I did receive some very favourable and useful reviewsClick here for Page 1Click here for Page 2. Although the book was completed in 1970, I think that it is basically still relevant, and after sorting out some of the technical problems in doing so, I am making it available on the internet. It is available to anyone interested in using it, whether for personal study, or for teaching purposes. However, the material is copyrighted, and it is NOT available for any commercial purpose. Click here to read the book.
I was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada on December 11, 1931. I received a Bachelor of Music (composition) degree from McGill University in 1956. After that, I taught privately, and in a private school, I did a little playing (clarinet and saxophone), I managed to sell a little stock music to the National Film Board, I wrote arrangements for a television series out of Winnipeg (for vocal soloists, choir, and orchestra), and a few other odds and ends.
In 1958, I was fortunate in being able to acquire a Teaching Fellowship at Bennington College in Vermont. My primary job was to accompany Modern Dance classes by improvising on the piano. It also involved playing the clarinet, copying music etc. This was a two year program that led to a Master of Arts in Music Composition. The atmosphere was very conducive to creative work there, particularly since practically everything one wrote was performed, at least in workshop. I wrote quite a bit of music there, and capped it off with a one-act opera This Evening;. I spent the following year in the Theatre Department of Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts, where I played for dance classes, wrote some music for theatrical productions, and taught clarinet privately.
I freelanced for a year after Bennington and Smith, and then decided to go into teaching. I taught instrumental music and English in high schools in Ontario for four years, and then taught music theory, music history, instrumental music, and classroom music at the Nova Scotia Teachers College in Truro, Nova Scotia, over a period of eight years. During this period, I wrote some band music, other music for students, and a music theory textbook, The Mechanics of Music (unpublished).
In 1975, I decided to move back to Toronto, and change careers. I took a six month programming course at Control Data, and worked for seventeen years first with Minicomputers, and later with Microcomputers, as a Programmer Analyst writing business systems using Business Basic. I designed and programmed Accounting, Job Costing, Bill of Materials, Rental Management, Distribution, Retail etc. systems, and worked for a number of years developing the system for the Ontario New Home Warranty Program. Eventually, health problems emerged, and I was forced at first to reduce my workload to part-time, and finally to quit work altogether.
I am now retired, but keep busy mainly with computers and music.
In 1999, my brother, Harvey Sirlin (Sirulnikoff) sat down and wrote a memoir detailing what he called "My 2nd Most Memorable Year". This was the year that he, as a twenty year old, partly out of idealism, and partly craving adventure, participated in Israel's 1948 War of Independence. His writing ability somewhat surprised me, and his memory for detail contributes in no small measure to the impressiveness of this effort. He was also at some great pains to tell only the truth, and not exaggerate, as he often felt some veterans of war are prone to do. Unfortunately, he passed away in 2001, and so I am presenting it here in his memory.Click here to read the memoir.
Alan is my nephew. He lives on Canada's west coast in beautiful Gibsons B.C. He has travelled the world doing photography for many years, and has had his work published in books, magazines, calendars etc., and has also had a number of exhibitions and given many slide shows. He also gives much time and energy to many good causes, and tries to live according to those principles.Click here to see some of his work.
To view more recent examples of Alan's work click here